When I listened to Ryan Robinson’s latest effort A Couch to Call Home I instantly wanted to move to Maui. Mainly because the first song could only be made by a person who is extremely content with life and the song is about how living in Maui is extremely easy. I think this is something that Robinson should know since that’s where he lives. A Couch to Call Home basically reminds me of what I would be perfectly happy with listening to if I was at a luau. The songs are upbeat and without a shred of pretension. While this isn’t the type of album that will blow you away with innovative concepts and song structure I appreciated the songs for what they were. A lot of hipsters will instantly dismiss this music because on first listen it may have too many elements that point in the direction of mainstream. While this does sometimes have an adverse effect on the album the funky music, his vocal style and voice that sometimes reminded me of Jamiroquai, horns and overall catchy songwriting more than makes up for it.
Probably the funkiest song on the album is the opener “Easy Living.” Besides being a funk-inspired song that made me want to crack open a beer, the vocals fit the vibe perfectly. “She’s Moving In” contains a beautiful breakdown towards the end with harmonized vocals, strings and a great vocal delivery by Robinson. I had an ambivalent relationship with the song “Move.” At first I didn’t think the song was going to do anything for me but listening to it I felt the vocal performance was so good it made up for the chessy syths and predictable funk rhythms. I loved the horns in “Someday.” It had a cool mariachi style that worked well with the organic stick percussion. “Drinking to my D.U.I” made me laugh because the whole concept was about as silly as seeing a bear in a tutu. The album ends with “Home” which shines the light on Robinson and his guitar. So I have to say this album surprised me. Robinson had enough originality, fun and talented songwriting that made it worth my while. In fact Robinson made an album that I may just listen to even though I probably won’t be at a luau anytime soon.
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